Traditions. Sometimes broken, sometimes followed. I don't know which better applies to my cooking. I think I fall somewhere in the middle. Neither here, nor there. There are times when I break every tradition I know and cook something that, quite frankly, doesn't even have a name. And there are times when I follow my mother's (or grandmothers') recipes to a T.
This recipe is one that follows the middle path. One foot in the known, one in the unknown. The desire to make my lunch as colourful as possible is always overwhelming. The desire to experiment cannot be ignored. The desire to use new vegetables in my cooking eggs me on.
I had decided to cook a traditional meal for my parents and S. Yet, I felt the need to show off. So, I made some brinjal menthi kuzhambu (Appa's favourite), paruppu thogayal/thuvayal and this mixed vegetable upkari. The colours of this simple dish were too beautiful to be ignored.
100g Beans, strung and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
100g Carrots, diced
100g Purple Cabbage, chopped
1 tsp Oil
1/4 tsp Urad Dal
1/4 tsp Mustard Seeds
2 Red Chillies
1/4 tsp Asafoetida (optional)
1 tbsp Coconut, scraped
7-8 Curry Leaves
Salt to taste
Heat oil in a pressure pan. Add the urad dal, mustard seeds and asafoetida(if using). When the mustard splutters, add the curry leaves and the red chillies. Fry for a minute. Add the chopped beans, carrots and cabbage. Add some salt along with a little water. Cover and cook for one whistle.
When done, open and cook without the lid to let the excess water evaporate. Add the coconut and mix well.